So, you’ve decided to become an Amazon seller – Great news if you already have a product you’re passionate about and you’re ready to go.  Selling on Amazon is fun, profitable and, for many, leads to giving up their boring 9 to 5 to sell full time.  When starting out as an Amazon seller, there’s a lot to learn but, thankfully, there is plenty of help available both in terms of guides and tutorials and in online seller tools.

For many, who have yet to find their perfect product, the first stumbling block is deciding just what to sell on Amazon to begin with.  The following guide will help you to make an informed choice regarding which products to sell and help you to find your niche.

 

Step 1: Are there good and bad products to sell on Amazon?

 In a word, yes.  There are types of products which sell incredibly well on Amazon and others which tend to languish in warehouses collecting dust.  Although not exhaustive, the following is a guide to which products are good and which are not so good.

What makes a good product?

  • A good product should be timeless and therefore not seasonal or specific to a national holiday, such as Christmas novelties etc.
  • Avoid products where the cost or value is transparent.  Ornaments, curios and unique items are hard for a customer to price meaning that you can choose a price tag that adds to your profit margin.
  • Products which can be priced between $15 and $200 tend to be the highest sellers on Amazon – any lower and they may be considered tacky; any higher and you’re into the area of luxury goods which many are reluctant to buy online.
  • Products which are light and easy to pack – extra weight and awkward packaging will eat into your profit margin.
  • Niche and quirky products which are not found in high street stores tend to sell very well.
  • Products which lend themselves well to a high mark up.  With the amount of work you’ll put in, you should be looking at 100% mark up as a goal.

 

And the ones to avoid:

  • Electrical and mechanical games and toys which are sensitive and require warranties tend to be more hassle than they’re worth for an Amazon seller due to a high number of returns and complaints.
  • Products which are widely available in major retail outlets at a similar price.
  • Delicate or fragile items which may be susceptible to breakage during transit or which will require specialist packaging.
  • Products which are already being sold in large volumes by other sellers.  Particularly avoid items being sold on eBay as you’ll find that you’re unable to compete with pricing.
  • Products which fall within a legal gray area such as branded or trademarked items.  Selling fake or counterfeit products won’t just get you into trouble with Amazon; you may also end up answering to the law !

 

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Step 2:  How to Find Product Idea Inspiration

 It’s tough getting your new business off the ground when you can’t decide what to sell.  Thankfully, help is at hand!

Even if you really don’t have a clue as to what you’re going to sell, there are a number of sites out there which deal specifically in product research for Amazon sellers.

Jungle Scout features a really handy product database which allows users to filter products by price, estimated sales, dimensions, saleability and ratings in order to produce a shortlist of possible products.  On the Jungle Scout app, you can track a product to see if it performs consistently.  Another feature offered by Jungle Scout is the Niche Hunter which allows users to find products by searching keywords.

You may also like: Jungle Scout Review 2018: The Differences Between Web App and Chrome Extension.

Another great tool is AMZ Shark which contains a whole suite of useful tools for Amazon sellers including product research and tracking tools.

 

Bang on trend

In addition to using product search tools, you can find items to sell by researching trending products.  For the uninitiated, trending products are those which have begun to sell large quantities within a short amount of time, indicating that they have become popular with buyers.  There are a number of ways to research trending products including:

 

Amazon

You can research trending products through Amazon’s Best Sellers feature quickly and easily  Simply log onto Amazon, click on Best Sellers (at the side of the home page) and then filter your search by clicking onto individual categories.   You can also check out Amazon’s Movers & Shakers section which shows products which have seen significantly improved sales recently.

 

Social Media

If it’s happening, it’s happening on social media.  Many social media sites feature new and exciting products which are being talked about.  Reddit’s ‘Hot, Rising and New’ tool allows users to sift through products to see what’s getting people excited.  Similarly, Pinterest and Instagram are awash with photographs of the latest trending products if you have the patience to browse.

 

Niche Websites

As online selling becomes more and more popular, there are tons of websites out there with one purpose and one purpose alone – to tell you about all the great products out there.  Some of the best of these include:

Before committing to buying a trending product, you can verify its popularity using a product such as Google Trends – simply pop the name of the product into the Google Trends search bar to find out if the product is hot or not.

Although selling trending products can be extremely profitable, be aware that these are generally short-lived and should not be relied upon for long term sales.

 

Step 3: Find your keywords and analyze their search volume

 Keywords are specific words and phrases which shoppers use to search for a product that they wish to buy. Amazon sellers use keywords and phrases to measure the search volume and market capacity of a product. Also, using the right keywords and phrases can help to drive more shoppers to your product page.

You can get help with finding keywords by using an online keyword tool.  A few of our favorites are:

 

Merchant Words

This clever tool uncovers highly specific keywords that buyers are searching for in order to apply them to your product – it’s like it’s reading the minds of your customers!  Merchant Words comes with a number of different features and costs $60 per month.

 

Google Keyword Planner

The Google Keyword Planner is a brilliant tool for helping you to come up with new keywords and phrases.  Simply type in your basic keyword or phrase and the generator will provide you with a number of different variations and permutations allowing you to constantly update your keywords and phrases.

Tools such as these should be used regularly in order to keep your keywords and phrases updated.  You can also use these online facilities to research the market capacity of your keywords in order to make sure you are using words which are not over-saturated on Amazon.

 

Step 4: Check the Product For Competitiveness

 No matter what you’re selling on Amazon, if you’re not competitive, you’re not selling.

 Before committing to selling a product, you need to know who’s already selling it and, how they’re doing.  This means conducting thorough competitor research before you start out in order to find out the following about the product:

  • Price history
  • Rank history
  • Quantity of reviews and, the percentage of positive and negative reviews
  • Number of sellers offering the product
  • Inventory

When starting out with competitor research, there are a number of quick and simple things you can do:

 

Check out the reviews

Take a look at the reviews for the product you are planning to sell.  One tip is: if each seller has over 300 reviews, then this indicates that the product is very popular – it may also indicate that the market is probably saturated and you may struggle to get off your feet with the product.

Look at the actual content of the customer reviews – it could be that, an area which is letting one seller down is an area at which you excel, in which case this would be a good product for you.

 

Check out the sellers

How many are there and, who are they?  This can make a huge difference when it comes to deciding whether a product will work for you or not.  If there are a huge amount of people selling the same thing then it may be best to look elsewhere.  Similarly, if the product is being sold by Amazon itself, it’s time to move on as it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to compete with the huge discounts that Amazon can afford to offer.

 

Price

By now you should have worked out how much you can sell the product for and still make a profit.  Compare your price against those already selling the product to see how you compare. If you find that you won’t be able to compete with these other sellers without taking a loss, this may not be the right product for you.

You can track the price of the product over time using CamelCamelCamel and may find that you can revisit the product at a later date.

To summarize, it’s vital that you research your competitors before committing to a product:  If, after conducting your research, you find that you can compete on price, quality and service then that’s a green light for your new product.

 

Step 5: Find your Competitor’s weakness

 OK, that might sound a little melodramatic but, if you’re determined to sell a product that’s already out there, you need every advantage that you can get.

The idea is to find out what your competitors do badly and then make sure you do it excellently.  You can do this by:

 

Reviews

Customer reviews can be a goldmine when sussing out the competition.  Read your competitor’s reviews to see what their customers were – and were not – happy with.  It may be that you competitor let themselves down with late delivery whereas you already have a contingency plan to ensure that orders are received in a timely manner.

Sellers should always aim to strive to stand out from the competition by engaging with their customers and getting involved in their buying process to make it the most enjoyable experience. This will encourage customer trust and recurring engagement which will eventually become customer loyalty.

 

Step 6: Step to the source

Now that you’ve decided what it is you’re going to sell, it’s time to find it.  Sourcing product manually can be time consuming and frustrating – Luckily, there are a few online tools that can help you to streamline the process:

First, find a list of suppliers running an online search and collect a list of 10 to 20 suppliers.  For this, you simply need to type what you’re looking for into a search engine; for example, ‘silver owl necklace suppliers’.

Next compose an enquiry email asking for prices, delivery times, terms, discounts and other relevant information.

Collate responses from suppliers and compare the information to find the one which best fits your requirements.

You may end up with another shortlist, at which point it’s time to ask for product samples to be sent to you so that you can compare these.  If a supplier requires you to enter into a contract, always check this very carefully – running it past a solicitor if necessary.

You’re nearly there!

 

Step 7: AMZDiscover your product

AMZDiscover is a vital tool for Amazon sellers as it helps to gauge the quality and satisfaction of your product. AMZDiscover is an easy way of collating contact information for customers who have previously bought similar products and who, therefore, may be interested in buying yours.

Easy to use, you simply enter the URL of any Amazon product into the search engine to be presented with a list of people who have reviewed that item.  You can then buy credits which will enable you to purchase the contact details for these reviewers. Pop this information into a spreadsheet and you have a ready-made contact list of customers. You can then compose a sales email to be sent to your list offering information on your product as well as discounts, offers and other similar items.

As one of the favorite tools for selling on Amazon, AMZDiscover’s intuitive system means that all of the customers collected have bought products similar or the same as yours and so will be receptive to your ads.  You can use these new customers to test the popularity of your product and to harvest reviews in order to help you to improve your product and service.

When selling any product on Amazon, there are no guarantees, however, this guide will help you to make an educated decision when it comes to choosing your product.